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Traction Disabled

Service Ride Control was the first message that has not been fixed forever.

Today, I noticed for the first time the above message, Traction Disabled. What is this, how serious and is it expensive to fix?

All these electronic gimmicks are expensive if not impossible to fix…Traction Control is a part of the anti-lock brakes that try’s to prevent wheel-spin on slick roads…

Knowing about a problem and not fixing it "forever" tends to be a bad idea.  Even if it is not a safety issue or something you really don't use often anyway it does make you fell bad about your car.  Next you might skip an oil change or two, not get the transmission fluid changed etc.  Then soon they car is junk, all because it did not get a little care when needed. 

In this case traction control is important especially with winter - snow coming up.  Why have a Cadillac if you are not going to keep it serviced so it can deliver the kind of service you bought it for.

Perhaps we should ask the model year and mileage on this car before we recommend an expensive repair…

Most cars on the road don’t even have traction control so you can certainly live without it. It is, however, an added safety thing.

Maybe JE Meehan is right. If you’re not going to maintain this car then get rid of it and get a simpler one with fewer gadgets. If you want to stay with it take it into a local shop for an evaluation. It might be expensive - it might not. Asking someone to figure it out does not cost a fortune and does not obligate you to have it fixed.

There are more high tech gadgets that can fail and some won’t be easily ignored and may be outrageously expensive to repair. I’ll fall in line with considering replacing the Cadillac with a more basic model.

I just saw a 1990 Ford Festiva for sale on craigslist. There was also a 60-something Impala in pretty good shape not too long ago. That’s what I’m thinking.

It is not my car. I get the oil changed at least 2 times a year. I have the car inspected and maintain the appearance of the car and the tire pressure and the fluid levels every month.
I can not, however, afford to ditch the car my wife owns just because it was given to her by her son, my step son, as a gift because we are too poor to buy another one at this time.
So that said, I respect the answers on this forum but please, do not make haste to jump to conclusions and needless sarcasm. It doesn’t make me happy and with out a doubt will make it harder in the future for me to form a positive view towards this web site. Some of the answers however were not insulting nor did they seem to belittle me. Since I am very sensitive to insults, belittlement and overall rudeness of some.

Well, I think that you are right in saying that you are quite sensitive. I noticed no hasty conclusions or sarcasm. People tell it like it it. Here’s how it is with this car: its full of expansive gadgets. Things will go wrong. If things are let go and let go and let go then the car will descend to being worthless and not very useful even for your own needs.

So basically, what people said was if you can’t keep up with this car’s issues it is time to look for something else. That’s not sarcastic, rude, belittling or anything else. Sometimes people get cranky b/c they don’t hear what they want to hear though…

If everyone is broke - well, you do have something on your side. It is a Cadillac. Start looking at how to swap someone for something easier and cheaper to take care of.

On the other hand, you have 2 responses that say traction control is not a necessity. Of course, when you add the ride control issue in it changes the picture some since the car is already riding around with the suspension system not quite in order.

Did you know that you can pick up a basic repair manual for $20 at an auto parts store?

Cars with traction control and ABS brakes should have the brake fluid completely changed every 3 years. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, that means it attracts and absorbs water from moisture in the air. In time that contaminates the brake fluid and can cause issues with your braking systems.

I think the first light and warning message was that something was amiss with the ABS brakes. That problem has perhaps become more significant and now the traction control is disabled and not functioning. The car will still drive and stop normally but does not have the safety features working as they should if you should need to stop in slippery conditions or if the car should go into a skid.

These kinds of problems can be expensive to track down and repair. I would suggest you get the brake fluid changed. This may not solve your problems and more expensive work could be needed to restore all the functions to normal working order.

GM used the Cadillac as a test bed… They went bankrupt…Parts for older Caddy’s, Oldsmobile’s, Pontiac’s are getting VERY hard to find…The ride control system never lasted for more than 2 or 3 years and the light came on…All it was was electronically controlled shocks. The faster you went the firmer the ride got… There are no replacement parts today. You can install the standard shocks / struts if you can find those…Or you can just ignore or remove the light.

Again, what year is your car? On some of the early models that used a DIC (driver information console) you can get in and eliminate some of these messages…

This is an automotive board with a lot of automotive type people…You can’t be too thin skinned here…You don’t see too many older Caddy’s on the road…There is a REASON for that…Few people can afford to keep them on the road…When the electronics or transmissions crap out they are DONE…Don’t fall in love with something that can’t love you back…

Considering that we don’t have a clue as to the year of mileage its hard to say for sure. But if I was the OP and just wanted to keep things rolling as long as possible with the car I’d go for the aftermarket, non-electronic shock/strut replacements, and ignore the traction control. (Except I’d take UncleTurbo’s advice about making sure to flush out the brake fluid).

1995 4.6 lcd SLS Northstar 16 inch tires.
will look into getting brake fluid flushed out next month and appreciate the data.

Over 150,000 miles or more mileage also is my guess.